Re: [Czechlist] Sociological question
- Matej, a Waldorf school and a Steiner school are the same thing. The Waldorf schools were started by a philosopher of some kind named Rudolf Steiner.
Funny you should mention the teacher with the young girls on his lap. Once I had to chaperone a school tour of Moravian wineries for children 14 to 18 years old, where they all got outrageously drunk, and no one cared. On the bus ride home, some beautiful young thing decided to sit on my lap for a good deal of the trip. I pointed out to her that there was an empty seat next to me, but she insisted that my lap was the only position from which she could talk to both teachers. The other teacher didn't seem bothered by this, so I just let her sit there until she got tired of it. I thought she was 15, but recently one of the boys from the class told me she was older when she started high school and was likely about 19 when she did that. Anyway, I appeared to be the only one on the bus who had a problem with it. I didn't find it unpleasant, but I found it improper.
Once the bookkeeper, a proper middle-aged woman, asked me for my personal information so she could see if she needed to revise it for tax purposes. She said, "You're divorced, right?" I said I was single, and she was so surprised that she made sure I understood the difference between the words "svobodny" and "rozvedeny". When she was convinced that I understood the words, she said, in all seriousness, "So, you're single. But at this school, it's not like you don't have a choice!" This woman, like many Czechs I ran into, thought the high school was a good place for a 39-year-old man to shop for a wife. In the US, such a notion would be considered quite perverted, but on the other hand, as exchange students confirmed on their return, an American 18-year-old is approximately equivalent to a Czech 12-year-old.
Another shock to me was when 15- or 16-year-old girls in my classes had boyfriends who were in their late 20s, and their mothers seemed to approve of it. When I got back home, a Serbian-American woman who had lived similarly in the US explained to me that a 15-year-old and a 27-year-old can get the girl in the same kind of trouble, but only the 27-year-old can assume responsibility for it. It had its logic.
On Feb 19, 2012, at 6:37 AM, Matej Klimes wrote:
> In my/my kids' experience, any contact is OK in kindergarten - teachers
> hold hands with kids, they hug each other, they help them with toilet
> matters, etc.. - and our kids went to many different places, it depends
> on the size of the place and the teacher's attitude, but no one had a
> problem with normal physical contact
> On the other hand, a friend who is a teacher told me that one of her
> pupils - a little girl, probably around 7-8, shat herself (pardon the
> expression, but that's what happened, quite dramatically, probably to
> do with some sort of stomach flu or something).. Her teacher noticed,
> it was beyond repair, so she took her to some place where she could
> shower and gave her some spare clothes from somewhere, but she said she
> was making sure she didn't help her getting her clothes off or shower
> because she was afraid her parents might freak out and report her if
> they found out - and she's a totally normal person, with grown-up kids,
> her normal instinct with a small child would be to hold the shower and
> help, the kid wasn't quite big enough to deal with it on her own and
> she was stressed - now that's Americanisation for me..
> On yet another hand, our son went to Waldorfska skola - sort of a
> hippie/alternative school, close to what Brits call Stainer school - it
> was in a small town, so it wasn't as hippie as they are in Prague, and
> it always depends on the individual teachers anyway... he only spent
> three years there because by then his teacher had some problems and
> stopped teaching them, literally.. Until then he was pretty good and it
> was certainly OK for any of the pupils to hug him.. BUT there was this
> young teacher there, who taught English (very badly, he was a Czech and
> totally unqualified), all the teachers would take turns minding the
> kids out in the school grounds or in the 'druzina' after school until
> parents picked them up or they went home (small town, none of that
> Prague crime-freaking)... whenever we saw that young teacher, he'd
> always have one or two girls sitting on his knee - and they were
> probably 13-15, quite grown-up... they seemed to adore him and compete
> for his attention, and it was very weird, not openly sexual, but on the
> line... my wife talked to the school principal about it and it later
> transpired that the teacher indeed had a problem of this sort and they
> let him go...
> It seems we're half way there, in some schools people are still
> 'normal' about these things, but the American way is creeping in,
> probably because of media coverage and what not.. and it's probably
> happening in normal life as well - if my younger son's friend had a
> lavatory accident like that while he was at our place, I wouldn't have
> a problem helping him the same way I would with my son, in fact I think
> I have on occasion, but I think some uptight parents might behave like
> that teacher 'just in case'...
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